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Weird Business #6: Make Money Cricket Farming
Cricket Farming

by - July 21, 2013 - 18 Comments

The poor economy definitely forces people to get creative, but when I heard about cricket farming on the news a few weeks ago, I almost spit out my coffee from laughing so hard.

I’ve made it habit over the past few months to try out the ideas I share with you, but I’m not sure how my landlord would feel about this one. :) Although, for the return of our “weird business” series, I’m happy to share all the details with you…

Why Crickets?

Crickets make great bait for fishing and are frequently purchased by reptile owners as snack food. Crickets are also easy to breed and can sell for up to $12 for 250. That might not seem like a lot, but consider that every female lays 5 to 10 eggs a day in her lifetime.

A one foot square box can hold 1,000 crickets which means you can easily do this in a small space. Also, in addition to being profitable, breeding crickets can be a really fun project for the kids!

What Do I Need to Start Cricket Farming?

The Gray Cricket, also known as the Acheta Domestica, is the easiest to breed and raise in captivity. You will also need a few basic supplies to start your cricket farm:

  • A 20 gallon Rubber Maid container or fish tank
  • 2 small to medium rearing containers 
  • Lids that will fit each container
  • 3-4 jars (sour cream, yogurt, butter, etc.)
  • 3-4 paper egg cartons 
  • Aluminum screening (must be metal)
  • Duct tape
  • A razor blade or pair of wire cutters (used to cut plastic) 
  • Cotton 
  • Dirt
  • An optional heating pad

You’ll want to start out with two dozen adult crickets as well as about a dozen teenager crickets. The aluminum screening needs to be attached to the top of the fish tank to create an enclosure that keeps the crickets from escaping, but still allows them to breathe. Egg cartons, cotton, and dirt can be used to create a comfortable habitat inside the fish tank.

Selling Your Crickets

The best place to sell your crickets is to local pet stores and bait shops. Be sure to check with them ahead of time to make sure they will buy from local breeders.

If you are interested in joining the big leagues, check with some of the national pet stores as you might be able to score a deal as a regional distributor.

Good Luck Penny Hoarders! Would you be willing to give cricket farming a try?

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  • http://nickelbynickel.com Andrea

    all I can say is EEK!

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Haha! I thought I might get one or two of those…

  • http://prairieecothrifter.com Miss T @ Prairie EcoThrifter

    There are a ton of crickets where I live. I wouldn’t even need to start a farm. What I need to do is just take out a big net and catch them all. That though wouldn’t be as easy to do as it sounds. Once again, cool money making idea.

  • http://www.squarepennies.blogspot.com Maggie@SquarePennies

    We used to buy crickets for a pet frog. They kept escaping the tank somehow even with the screen on top. We’d find them in strange places in the house including some in light fixtures attached to the ceiling with no way in! We think they got into the walls & ate wallboard. By the way, we tried to raise our own feeding them meal worms bought from the pet shop. Some of the meal worms would hatch & become little flying insects that could escape through the screen also. If anyone tries this, please try it on a small scale first. And good luck!

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Haha! Oh goodness, that sounds like a disaster. :)

  • http://www.breakingzero.com Brian Yang

    Lol.. well, there are limitless possbilities towards making money.

    Years ago when I was in telemarketing, I had a conversation with one customer who told me about how he makes a millions dollars a year breeding and selling…. wait for it…. goats.

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Millions of dollars? Whoa! Googling “goats” as we speak…lol.

  • Rebecca

    Maggie, you’re not alone. We have some fire bellied toads that we have to feed crickets to and we find them around the house sometimes.
    We may give this a try sometime, but I would think it would be kind of iffy as crickets don’t live very long and they smell aweful when they die.

    Goats…goat is the number one meat consumed in other parts of the world (not America), so it is a pricey item here. I would love to eat more goat, but so darn spendy! Goat farmers could sell to local Indian restaurants. Yum yum!

  • teresa

    I’ve seen just as weird stuff being done to make money. Farming mushrooms, sprouting bean sprouts & catching, then selling lizards. One man’s yuck is another man’s living.

  • Geoff

    I’m going for it. In fact I found this article while doing some research on my current (first) batch of new baby Acheta domestica. Discovered that the adults had been quite “productive” when I was about to toss out and start all over again.

    Get me thousands of little tiny cigars, I’m a daddy!

    As far as profitable, we’ll see. I figure as long as I keep my costs extremely low, then I should be in the black almost immediately.

    Costs so far:
    $3.60 first breeder batch of Acheta domestica
    $1.00 +/- oatmeal for food
    $0.00 dog food for free, 50# bag. Gave most of it to family who have ‘normal’ pets
    $0.00 for various tanks and storage bins. Already had on hand
    $3.60 for newest batch of different species of cricket
    $??? for time spent caring for these little critters

    • The Penny Hoarder

      Very cool! Lol.

      Will you please send me an email in a couple of weeks and let me know how it’s going? I’d love to share with everyone…


      • Geoff

        You bet. But email me directly, I don’t see a way to get updates as folks reply to this discussion thread.

        I check pricing on upgrading tubs, found some useful instructions online, and have dedicated a room to this. Going to start very small, and try very hard not to buy anything that isn’t paid for by sales. While it’s not really that big a deal to spend $5 on tubs, and purchase some other basic supplies, it’s more of an experiment anyways.

        Check out the episode on Dirty Jobs about crickets, it’s pretty funny. They have a minimum of 10million crickets at any give time, usually with 25 million or so.

        Not sure it will build to something that big, but I am curious what kinds of margin exist in this business…..

  • player

    Its easy enough to get the materials needed in your list but your how to build it plan was a little sketchy. But then should anyone care to try this I guess It could be figured out.

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    We have 6 leopard geckos, 4 of whom we hatched from the original pairs’ eggs and they each eat 3-4 crickets per day. The crickets cost 12 cents each at Petco, and since we live in the Northeast there are many months where there are no wild crickets and most pet owners don’t have time to hunt for crickets anyway, I think this may be a money-maker and have considered doing it just to feed my lizard. P.S. Leopard geckos live for 17 years and we’ve had them for at least 10 years, that can be expensive especially if along with your reptiles and you also have pet mammals. Read “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” I think one of the first thing the Rich Dad advises is don’t buy things that require you to spend money on their upkeep and load yourself up with pets because unless they are Lassie, Benji, Rin Tin Tin, or Eddie on Frazier they will cost you quite a bit of money.I love them and I will keep my current pets for as long as they live and take good care of them but I will not be adding any.

  • Frances

    I raised crickets for fire bellied toads we had. Found out how very easy crickets are to breed. The tricky part is keeping the adults from eating the babies and keeping everyone in the bins.

  • http://www.whatmommydoes.com/ Lena @ WhatMommyDoes

    No way, dude! My luck, my kids would think it’s fun to bring them in the house and let them go free! :)

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